What Do People Mean When They Say "the New Jim Crow"?


Quick Answer

The new Jim Crow refers to the disenfranchisement and marginalization of African-Americans who were imprisoned under the American criminal justice system, reports National Public Radio. Decades ago, about 12 states in the South enforced segregation through Jim Crow laws that denied African-Americans the right to vote and serve on juries.

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Full Answer

In her book "The New Jim Crow," attorney and legal scholar Michelle Alexander explains that due to the war on drugs President Reagan instituted in the 1980s, large numbers of poor black males were arrested, jailed and convicted as felons. The result was the reestablishment of types of discrimination that had been eliminated during the Civil Rights movement, when the old Jim Crow laws were rendered ineffective, according to National Public Radio. Jim Crow was the name of an African-American character featured in minstrel shows, notes the National Park Service.

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